Hey, listen up…

We here at UMV are striving to make this Organization a strong voice for motorcyclists’ rights. It takes an unbelievable amount of time to go to these events and push our cause. Alot of times it seems like we are not getting anything done. Yet through the fog of politics, every now and then we see a light of hope, only to be dashed because of lack of support behind us.

We have over 100 members and yet when we show up at Montpelier, or different forums to express ourselves, it is always the same 8-10 people.

While we love riding and doing our fundraisers (Harley Raffle and shirt sales, etc.) the core group is getting exhausted. This is everyone’s Organization. Please try to put forward an effort to help out on some of our events. We don’t need everybody at every event, but we could use some more help.

This will only make UMV stronger. Our main events are the Harley Raffle in January and the Toy Run in August.

But throughout the year we do show up at various rallies, pushing our message. We know people come to these because we always sign up new members.

Please come to a meeting or volunteer at a run. We really can use your help and you will be an asset to our Organization.

Our meetings are at the VFW in Hyde Park off Route 15, and at the American Legion in Orleans. All UMV members are welcome to attend. Check our website or your newsletter for dates and site info!

Thank you,
The UMV Staff

Today’s Ride

I just thought I should share how great my ride to (and from!) work was today. I’m lucky that I’m able to use my bike to commute, and that my commute is about 24 miles of scenic Rt. 12, Rt. 100, and then little-used paved roads, then unpaved for 3 miles!

I could feel the sun’s warmth even at 7:20 a.m. No need for chaps this morning, just jacket, gloves, and a neck scarf. The recently cut fields of hay smelled so good, and that morning sun is fantastic.

I think avoiding all the cracks and gaps in the roads help us with our riding skills, lol. Yeah I’d rather have the roads totally smooth but you deal with what you’re given, right.

I even lucked out with no animals in my path, small or large. And even better, no cagers pulled any stupid tricks. You have to really watch out for the out-of-staters (well we know you have to watch out for everyone!) but especially in a touristy area like Stowe. Expect the unexpected, slow down a bit, and all should be fine.

I do try to acknowledge when I see someone about to pull out, then they notice me, and don’t. I give them a smile and a nod (“thanks for not killing me today”).

The ride home was warm! I would have gone without my jacket but I couldn’t stuff it into my backpack (relatively new bike for me, and I haven’t taken the saddlebag plunge yet). It sure does feel great to ride without the jacket sometimes. And how wonderful is it to pass through the cooler spots that are shaded by trees, then back into the bright warmth.

Lots of farm equipment on the roads and I always appreciate the ease and speed with which we can pass those slow-moving vehicles.

I was happily surprised to see that some of the ‘motorcycle eating potholes’ have been patched on Route 12 to Elmore. I had them all memorized. Hopefully the patches will hold.

Then home and down the driveway into the shaded coolness. Another work day over…and I am so lucky to be able to ride to work almost all the time.

Be a real hero

Think you have to do something incredible to be a real hero? There’s something you can do, the next time you get in your car! Before you pull out of your driveway, before you make that left turn into the store, before you accelerate from the stop sign; make sure you look twice for an oncoming motorcyclist.

That’s all it takes. Because more than half of motor vehicle/motorcycle crashes occur because the car or truck driver drove into the path of the motorcycle. Almost 90% of the car or truck drivers say “they never saw the motorcycle” yet the collision happened.

Motorcyclists are not ‘deserving’ of these risks, just because they chose to ride a motorcycle. Motorcyclists contribute to State revenue just as car or truck drivers do, with registration, tax, title and inspection fees; however they impact the road less due to their lighter weight. They use less fuel and get more miles for that fuel. They conserve parking space.

Motorcycles have a slim silhouette compared to a car or truck, but they have at least one large headlight and sometimes 3 headlights, plus extra driving lights for more visibility. Motorcyclists are aware that they aren’t as visible as larger motor vehicles and try to position themselves for their greatest safety and visibility.

Most motorcyclists are not the Hollywood image of suspect criminals and lower society citizens. Our motorcycles are not our primary transportation; they are our seasonal transportation choice and can be more expensive than a car. We have jobs, or are retired and enjoying our lives. Most motorcyclists look and act like ordinary people. We are your doctor, ER nurse, your lawyer or accountant; your bakery owner, landscaper, daycare provider or hairdresser. All we want is to safely share the beautiful roads of Vermont.

So…be a real hero, everyday. Just by looking twice for motorcycles.

Watch Out for Red Light Runners!

It’s almost time to get the bikes out! (almost, right, let’s hope so!) Here is a compilation vid of red light runners. It is scary to think of us out there, against drivers like this! All we can do is LOOK and KEEP AWARE when we get the green light, because not everyone else is paying attention.

Keep this vid in mind when you are at a traffic light and think it’s safe to go!